Now that the House and Senate finally have drafted their enormous health-care bills, we know what the final provisions will be. Their differences are far less important than their similarities.
Either version will be a disaster for our economy — for our personal well-being, both financial and medical — for our precious rights and freedoms — and for the futures of our children and grandchildren.
If “ObamaCare” becomes law, we will never again have the same America that was given to us by our nation’s Founders — that was defended by the blood of our ancestors — and that we have enjoyed as the greatest nation in the history of the world.
Both bills are coming up for crucial floor votes as early as this week. However, many in Congress are very nervous about what their votes will mean for their political careers.
This week is thus critical in either passing or defeating this legislation, once and for all. Now is the time that you can weigh in and make a real difference with your congressman and senators.
Here, in summary form, is what you need to know. Rather than overwhelm you with arcane details of each bill, it is more important that you understand in principle what ObamaCare will portend for you and your family.
ObamaCare will mean:
Outrageous costs. At a time of exploding federal spending and budget deficits, both the House and Senate bills would add far more than a trillion dollars to the mind-boggling financial liabilities we taxpayers already face. Even the stated price tags of these bills are fraudulent products of statistical manipulations. One way they pretend to reduce costs is to remove a quarter-trillion dollars in doctor Medicare reimbursements from the bills, but instead add that gargantuan spending into separate legislation. Another way they pretend to balance the books (“deficit neutrality”) is to impose years of tax increases to fund these bills, before the outrageous spending actually kicks in. When it does, the “cost curve” in later decades will soar upward, and deficits will pile up by the billions. In addition, the bills would vastly expand the already-bankrupt Medicaid program; this would impose on state governments, which already face crushing budget crises, tens of billions of dollars in new taxing and spending commitments. You will ultimately pick up that tab, too.
Soaring taxes. ObamaCare is not “insurance,” but a gigantic new entitlement scheme meant to “spread the wealth around.” To pay for this spending spree, both bills will drain our ailing private economy of hundreds of billions of dollars in higher taxes. These taxes will fall disproportionately upon the young and healthy: They will be forced to buy costly policies, thus expanding the “pool” of payers who will subsidize those older and sicker. Higher taxes also will fall heavily upon “the rich.” But these include the same entrepreneurs and employers whom we expect to create businesses and jobs to lift us out of the recession — and also the very doctors whom we expect to provide the medical services to the millions of new patients. The legislation also proposes hefty taxes on better private-insurance plans, which would penalize and undermine existing employer-employee benefits packages. These are just a few of the many new taxes and fees the bills would impose on us.
Perverse incentives. ObamaCare would subsidize and greatly expand the demand for health care, while discouraging the supply of health care. It would create a gigantic new federal entitlement program that would add millions of new, taxpayer-subsidized claimants for health-insurance coverage. Then it would force insurers to accept all comers — regardless of any actuarial risk factors — and to provide them coverage that is far beyond what many people actually require. On the other side of the equation, ObamaCare will increase taxes on those private insurers (who now average only 2-3% profit margins), while expecting them somehow to pay all the new benefits. It will also increase taxes and fees on hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and the inventors of new medical devices — thus punishing those who create and provide medical treatments. Inevitably, this will deter many of them from developing or offering vital new medical treatments for patients, and it will even force some of them out of business.
Government rationing. When soaring demand for medical care overwhelms shrinking supply of providers, the only outcome would be government rationing of medical care — which has occurred in all socialized-medicine regimes — and which is the intended outcome.
Lost individual choice. All talk of adding “choice and competition” to the health-insurance market is a complete fraud. The bills do not free individuals to buy insurance across state lines — “choice and competition” that would actually reduce the cost of insurance. Instead, the bills propose a host of new mandates on private individuals, employers, and private insurers. Under penalty of fines or jail, individuals will be forced to buy costly coverage; employers will be forced to provide it and to comply with countless petty regulations; and doctors, hospitals, and private insurers will be forced to comply with a mountain of new government orders, requirements, restrictions, demands, and regulations. Compliance with all these ever-expanding governmental edicts will drive up the costs for physicians, hospitals, medicines, treatments, and private insurance premiums. Skyrocketing costs will force more and more people into the “public option.” Meanwhile, the bills would slash reimbursements to Medicare Advantage plans, killing a private-insurance option now exercised and enjoyed by one-fourth of all seniors.
Broken promises. The pending legislation will not cover all the uninsured; it will not add to freedom of choice for consumers; it will not be “deficit-neutral”; it will not “bend the cost curve downward”; it will not prevent illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-subsidized medical care; it will not prevent government payments from funding controversial procedures such as abortions; and it will not allow people to “keep their current coverage.” All of these are the loud promises of ObamaCare’s advocates; all are demonstrable falsehoods.
Instead, ObamaCare will do only one thing, which was the overt objective of its proponents from the outset: put the federal government in charge of the delivery of all health care in America.
A single-payer, government-run program of socialized medicine is the stated objective of those who designed this legislative monstrosity — from President Obama, to the vast coalition of unions and advocacy groups, to the congressional leaders who drafted these bills. They explicitly intend to bankrupt the private-insurance marketplace, so that only the government option remains. Far from adding “choice and competion,” then, ObamaCare aims at imposing on us a government health-care monopoly.
But only if we allow it to happen. Because this power-grab still can be stopped.
Congress remains deeply divided over many provisions of this legislation. If it passes, it only will be by a handful of votes. That means we can defeat this monstrosity by changing just a few minds. Now — this week — is the time for you to raise your voice and put on the pressure.
Tell them the following, preferably putting the ideas into your own words:
The House and Senate bills will not create “universal, affordable insurance.” They instead would create a gargantuan, unaffordable new federal entitlement program. They would further explode our soaring deficits; hugely increase tax burdens on our ailing economy; create perverse incentives that would expand the demand for medical services, while discouraging and punishing the suppliers of medical care; and deprive Americans of true choice and competition, by imposing an endless stream of new “mandates” on individuals and employers. This legislation would destroy existing private health-insurance plans, and ultimately destroy the quality and affordability of health care in America.
This legislation is so flawed and destructive in principle that it cannot be “fixed” or amended; it must be scrapped in its entirety. True health-care reform is necessary, but it must be based on our free-market system — such as:
- allowing individuals to purchase insurance from companies across state lines, and letting them take that coverage with them when they change jobs;
- letting individuals buy high-deductible, low-cost catastrophic coverage, by freeing insurers from laws that force them to offer only costly, state-mandated provisions in their policies;
- enacting tort reform, to eliminate the costly practice of “defensive medicine.”
Such reforms would expand coverage to millions of the uninsured, while actually reducing costs to employers, policy-holders, and individual taxpayers.
I feel so strongly about this, that I cannot consider you for re-election unless you vote against this legislation, in any shape or form.
Whether or not you have ever contacted a congressman or senator, now is the time to do it. This week may be the last time we can influence the outcome on this issue.
Your health, your financial well-being, your liberty, and your nation’s future hang in the balance.
Please act today — then copy and/or direct this message to your family, friends, and associates.
Robert Bidinotto is former editor of The New Individualist, and is writing a book on the philosophical and mythological roots of environmentalism. His website is www.RobertTheWriter.com.